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A man, a guitar, and The Planets

Episode 64 – A man, a guitar, and The Planets

Innovation isn’t always about science and technology. While many of us may only experience playing a musical instrument through Guitar Hero, a new trend across the nation is guitar ensembles – groups replicating orchestral pieces using only guitars to play all parts of the orchestra. In an era where the arts are being seen as less important than STEM, music programs are searching for new and creative ways to entice more people to pick up an instrument. Thomas Wheeler, a guitar performance and pedagogy master’s student at ASU, takes an innovative approach to crafting a guitar solo from one of the most complicated musical pieces of all time, known as The Planets. Thomas had a vision of transcribing this piece early in his bachelor’s program, but realized he didn’t have the technical competency – he needed help from collaborators, mentors, and a deep immersion to craft a masterpiece. Learn from Thomas how passion, commitment and a never-give-up attitude propelled him to his final performance. Don’t forget to listen to his performance on YouTube! Hear it at

Recommended if you're interested in: guitar, passion, musical innovation.

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